Nature's Recipe Farm Stand Selects--finally, a food Charlie will eat!
Written: Jul 25, 2012 (Updated Dec 18, 2012)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Better than average ingredients, no wheat or corn, Charlie loves it
Cons:Only two named meat ingredients, one meal. Still a lot of grain. Expensive.
The Bottom Line: I would probably recommend others before this, but it's a pretty okay food, and if you have a picky eater, it might be the solution.
We’ve had Charlie, our Cairn Terrier, for almost six months now. At first, feeding was easy—he loved his Diamond Naturals, and all was good. Until his food was recalled, that is. After that, things weren’t so good.
Charlie, it turns out, is painfully picky. Blue Buffalo Wilderness? He hates it. Innova? Despises it. Simply Nourish? Simply turns up his nose and walks away. We’ve tried these foods separately, mixed together, and, finally, mixed together AND cut with premium wet food. Only this last produces a food Charlie will eat. What a pain!
Just lately, I’ve been obsessing over what adult food to transition Charlie into. He hates all puppy foods, so there was no reason to think that we’d find any adult food he could stand, either. So when the “Three Dollars Off” coupon for Nature’s Recipe came my way, I figured it was worth a shot. Worst he could do is hate it like he hates all the others.
There are a number of Nature’s Recipe foods. We considered going with a grain-free variety, but then realized that many of the foods Charlie has hated have been grain-free. Probably a coincidence, but why pay more for something he’s probably going to hate anyway? With that in mind, we chose the Nature’s Recipe Farm Stand Selects.
Now, Nature’s Recipe is not a Dog Food Advisor “five star” food. It’s not a bad food, it’s a better than average food, but it’s not in the same realm as Wilderness, Nutrisca, Innova, or Simply Nourish (except price-wise—it’s right up there with the best when it comes to cost). It’s a small step down, mostly because the meat ingredients aren’t as good. Here are the contents and analysis, as per the packaging:
Turkey, turkey meal, ground rice, barley, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, potato protein, peas, apples, dried cranberries (cranberries, sugar), natural flavor, tomato pomace, flax seed, carrots, sodium tripolyphosphate, potassium chloride, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), inositol, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), citric acid (used as a preservative), yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, rosemary extract.
Crude Protein Min. 25.00%
Crude Fat Min. 13.00%
Crude Fiber Max. 4.00%
Moisture Max. 10.00%
Calcium Min. 1.00%
Phosphorus Min. 0.80%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* Min. 0.25%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* Min. 2.00%
Now, some folks would balk at the tomato pomace, but I’m not one of those people. My problem with these ingredients? There are only two named meat products (not including poultry fat) and one of those is meal. I’d like to see one more NON-meal meat up near the top of the list. While there is a good amount of grain here, it’s not corn or wheat; these are the most common culprits in canine food sensitivities and skin reactions. Since Cairns are prone to skin issues, we always look out for corn and wheat.
Earlier, I mentioned that this food is “not as good” as the premium brands we’ve tried with Charlie. Objectively speaking, this is true. However, there’s one important factor that needs to be added to the equation. You see, Charlie won’t eat the more “premium” brands. He will, however, eat Nature’s Recipe Farm Stand Selects.
A friend of mine said, “How good is a food if your dog won’t eat it?” She has a point. Charlie EATS this food. He LOVES it. No mixing in wet food, no tempting, cajoling, or fooling him into thinking it’s treats for tricks. No, he just hoovers this stuff. Actually taps his bowl for more.
Looks-wise, this food has larger kibbles than the Wilderness and the Simply Nourish. It’s a deeper brown, and it looks more . . . flavorful? It does, it looks like it tastes better than any of the others we’ve tried, like it’s more gravy-y, if that makes sense. This food does include the occasional large chunk of fruit or vegetable, though that appears to be more for visual effect than anything else. The dog likes them, though. Smell-wise, it’s just dog food. No better or worse than the others.
As far as the ugly particulars? Nature’s Farm Stand Selects does not seem to upset Charlie’s belly. He’s no gassier than usual after eating it, though his stools are ever so slightly less compact and solid. That may just be a “getting to know you” thing, as he’s only been on the food (we’re mixing and moving toward exclusive) for a little over a week. His breath is good, and he has plenty of energy with no unusual thirst.
And that’s that! Nature’s Farm Stands Selects may not the very top of the dog food heap, but it’s far enough up that mountain that I feel okay about feeding it to Charlie. And Charlie feels very good about having it. While it may be as pricy as the other, better foods, it’s actually saving us money because now we’re not dropping an extra 30-40 bucks a month on canned food to mix. If you have a picky eater who won’t touch the “best of the best,” give this a try—it might do the trick!
Charlie stopped liking this stuff soon after I wrote the review. In fact, when we decided to switch him over to Castor & Pollux, he would eat around this stuff, shooting for just the C&P kibble.
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